Cast 5 male 4 female
Licence UK & Ireland only
This dark yet hilarious account of one woman’s commitment to loving others first, in spite of her own personal struggles, was first presented at Hampstead Theatre before transferring to the West End. Bessie lives in Florida, where she cares for her aunt and ageing father Marvin. After years of chronic pain, Aunt Ruth now has an electronic device which helps control her pain, but which also unfortunately interferes with the normal operations of household appliances. Marvin, unseen and unable to speak, has been confined to his bed for many years. Bessie has devoted her life to caring for them both, but when she learns that she is suffering from leukaemia, her only hope lies with her estranged sister Lee for a possible transplant. Lee reluctantly arrives with her two dysfunctional sons in tow, and an uneasy reunion ensues. Bessie refuses to commit her aunt and father to nursing homes as caring for them makes her own position bearable, and she attempts to patch up the strained relationship between her sister and nephews, who have suffered years of neglect from Lee. When the play ends, we are left with a ray of hope from Bessie’s belief that giving such love to those around her has made her life unbelievably rich, even as she faces her own death.